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Bulletin 72—Mineral deposits of Luna County, New Mexico

By G. B. Griswold, 1961, reprinted 1984, 157 pp, 14 tables, 24 figs., 10 plates, 1 index.

Luna County mines have produced $8.64 million in minerals since the first recorded mining operations in 1876. The bulk of this production has been from lead-zinc-silver ores, but appreciable amounts of manganese, fluorspar, copper, and gold also have been mined. The principal producing districts of the past were the Cooks Peak, Victorio, Tres Hermanas, Little Florida, and Fluorite Ridge. Lesser districts include the Fremont, Florida, and Cedar-Carrizalillo.

Mining is now at a standstill in Luna County because of the lack of known deposits that can be operated profitably under present market conditions. The full mineral potential of Luna County cannot be appraised accurately, but many factors point to at least the possibility of moderate-sized metalliferous ore finds in the Victorio, Tres Hermanas, and Cooks Peak districts. The fluorspar and manganese deposits offer promise only on radical improvement in the respective market prices involved.

The mineral deposits of Luna County were studied as part of a continuing effort by the NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral resources to provide individual reports on the mineral-producing counties of the state. All the known deposits of the county are described, with two important exceptions: the Cooks Peak district is only briefly mentioned because Jicha (1954) has previously described this area; similarly, the manganese mines are given only short descriptions, inasmuch as the U.S. Bureau of Mines is now making a commodity study of manganese for the entire state.

The descriptions given herein are intended to provide some of the basic facts concerning the regional and local geology, ore controls, and type of mineralization occurring in the several mining districts. A brief estimate of the ore potentialities is given after the discussion of each important district. These estimates are necessarily brief, because accurate appraisals of ore potentialities must depend on actual exploratory work, such as drilling, trenching, and drifting, none of which lie within the province of the NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources.

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